I want to commend the Ekiti State government for the new grazing bill which will help tackle terrorism among herdsmen in the state. The bill is expected to prosecute herdsmen with weapons in their possessions. I believe this will go a long way in curbing the evil activities of some herdsmen who destroy farmlands and kill innocent people.
I hope other states currently suffering from the attacks of herdsmen can also enact the same law. I don’t really understand why herdsmen carry guns if they don’t have bad intentions. They only need sticks to guide their cattle, but this new law will go a long way in curbing crime among them.
Having said this, I want the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to start promoting an agricultural system whereby cattle are kept in enclosures or barns. The truth is that the owners of these cattle are well-to-do people in the society who can afford to buy land and keep their animals in the enclosed spaces.
Apart from the killing of innocent people, these herdsmen also contribute to the low productivity in the agricultural sector. This is because they have used their animals to destroy have farmlands, and have driven farmers from their lands.
If something is not done to curb the illegal activities of these herdsmen, then our vision to diversify into agriculture will suffer a great set-back. Therefore, agricultural stakeholders in the country must encourage barn farming for cattle farmers, and this is not hard to do. The Federal Government will first begin to sensitise cattle owners on the need to acquire land for their animals, and then, it will start teaching those involved in cattle production the techniques used in enclosed or barn cattle farming. After a while, the government will set a time frame for cattle owners to acquire land and stop migration grazing across the country.
I believe the Federal Government has started on a bright note by introducing the fast-growing grasses. This should help in the feeding of cattle in enclosed spaces. Therefore, if we do not want one agricultural system — cattle production — to affect the other — crop production — then this is the best way to go.
I hope the Federal Ministry of Agriculture can start sensitising cattle owners on the need to acquire lands for their production, before giving a definite time frame for the stoppage of migration grazing.
- Felix Anyanwu,
Woji, Port Harcourt,